09 Dec anchovy + butter spaghetti
As the holiday season really starts to sink in this week, it’s hard not to get swept away with the business of gift buying, social planning and end-of-year work deadlines. Busy times call for simple, speedy suppers. For me, that usually means a pasta dish.
My husband and I have a little ritual we call Pasta Tuesdays. Tuesdays tend to be our busiest days at work, meaning that by the time Tuesday evening rolls around we are a little low on energy. Instead of succumbing to the instant gratification temptation of a take-away, we make a simple pasta dish. Most often we lace our pasta with a simple tomato and Gubeen chorizo sauce, dusted in a handful of good-quality Parmesan cheese, thinly grated.
As Christmas hurtles towards us, we usually celebrate Pasta Thursdays too. This week’s recipe is so stupendously quick, you won’t even feel like you’ve been in the kitchen at all. Yet, the flavoursome dinner you’ll be rewarded with will have you bowing down to the power of the tiny anchovy. These robustly salty little fishies really bring a lot to the table, and can boost a lacklustre tomato-based sauce into something truly special.
In this week’s recipe, I’ve pared things way back and have paired the anchovies with garlic, butter, Parmesan and parsley. Because it’s such a simple dish, it’s important to make sure you have the yummiest of ingredients. Getting really good quality pasta and an extra special Parmesan, or perhaps even a Taleggio for something a bit different, will help elevate this simple supper into a deeply satisfying comfort dish.
Anchovy + Butter Spaghetti
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
150g of spaghetti (or enough for 2)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of soft butter
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
Pinch of chilli powder
1. Make the spaghetti by following the packet’s instruction. I bring a saucepan of water to boil, adding a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Usually spaghetti takes about 9 minutes to cook in boiling water.
2. As the pasta cooks, heat a little drizzle of oil in a frying pan. Finely dice the anchovies and garlic. Add the anchovies and garlic to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the anchovies have dissolved and the garlic is cooked, but not burnt.
3. Add the butter to the anchovies and garlic, stirring over a medium heat until the butter has melted.
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return the pasta to the saucepan. Now add the anchovy, garlic butter into the pasta. Mix really well until the spaghetti is coated with the buttery goodness.
5. Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and freshly chopped parsley. Add a little pinc of chilli powder, a crack of black pepper and serve.
Storecupboard Essentials: Anchovies
The best anchovies that are widely available in Ireland are the Ortiz brand of tinned and preserved anchovies. They’ll sit in your cupboard happily, unopened, for an age, waiting until the time your pasta sauce needs them.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on Thursday 8th of December 2016